We all know that when an employee joins our team, we need to onboard them. And we’ve been doing that. But for a year and a half, we’ve been doing it remotely. That means we now need to do something we’ve never done before. As employees return to the office, we need to re-onboard our remote hires.
The past year and a half has been unpredictable, to say the least. Never before has the majority of the world’s workforce gone remote. We’ve weathered children, spouses, and other stressors all interfering with the comfort (or discomfort) of our work from home spaces. Now, with vaccinations in full swing, employees are coming back to their desks. However, many of our newest hires have never seen our offices before.
This means we have work to do before our company cultures can start running smoothly again.
As remote hires finally join our teams in person for the first time, we need successful re-onboarding processes. This includes getting employees up to speed with our offices, our teams, and seeing one another in person for the first time ever. Here are a few tips for how you can make your company’s re-onboarding process a success.
Even before we started working remotely, Gallup found only 12% of employees believed their companies did a great job in the onboarding process. This means there was already room for improvement. And things have become even more difficult as we onboarded employees from their home offices. Not to mention, now that we’re asking them to interact in person with their teams for the first time in a new environment.
Keeping this all in mind, the first thing you might want to consider is setting up cohorts for your remote hires. This is something often do with new hires. However, since these employees aren’t technically “new” hires, the idea of giving them other employees to bond with may be overlooked. But this doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be any less helpful.
Giving your “new” employees a chance to bond with their cohort gives them a built-in support system. It gives them other employees who are struggling to navigate the same terrain they are. You can even set up a buddy system for them, which could lay the foundation for workplace friendships.
It may not seem necessary, but it’s important to remember none of these employees have ever set foot in your offices before. This means they may not know simple things like where to find coffee. And knowing where to get a cup of joe in the morning could make all the difference in the world.
So, remember when your remote hires come into the office, you want to show them around and give them a chance to get oriented. They need to know where the restrooms are, where the kitchen is located, and where the rest of their team is stationed. Of course, you’ll also want to show them the fire exits and simple things like where the nearest stairs and elevator are.
As always, communication is key. Make sure your managers are checking in with their newest office mates. You’ll want to conduct one-on-ones and make sure everybody’s finding their way around and is happy with the new environment.
Remember, the home office might have been stressful, but a new office can be even more stressful. Make sure everybody is adjusting well, and keep lines of communication open.
If you have any other questions about what to do with your remote hires, keep an eye on StellaPop’s management consulting blog. We’ll keep you up-to-date with everything you need to know in these unprecedented times.